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loess

[loh-es, les, luhs]
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noun
  1. a loamy deposit formed by wind, usually yellowish and calcareous, common in the Mississippi Valley and in Europe and Asia.
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Origin of loess

1825–35; < German Löss < Swiss German lösch loose, slack (sch taken as a dial. equivalent of German s), akin to German lose loose
Related formslo·ess·i·al, lo·ess·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for loess

Historical Examples

  • By accenting the height of the ridges the loess also adds to the scenery of the county.

    History of Linn County Iowa

    Luther A. Brewer

  • A disadvantage of the loess lies in the readiness with which it washes.

  • The thickest known deposit of loess, 335 meters, is on the Loess Plateau in China.

    Deserts

    A. S. Walker

  • In Europe and in the Americas, accumulations of loess are generally from 20 to 30 meters thick.

    Deserts

    A. S. Walker

  • Many thousands of square miles of northern China are covered with loess.

    Geology

    William J. Miller


British Dictionary definitions for loess

loess

noun
  1. a light-coloured fine-grained accumulation of clay and silt particles that have been deposited by the wind
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Derived Formsloessial (ləʊˈɛsɪəl) or loessal, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from German Löss, from Swiss German dialect lösch loose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for loess

n.

1833 (in Lyell), "unstratified deposit of loam," coined 1823 by German mineralogist Karl Cäsar von Leonhard (1779-1862) from German Löss "yellowish-gray soil," from Swiss German lösch (adj.) "loose" (cf. German los; see loose). Related: Loessial.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

loess in Science

loess

[lōəs, lĕs, lŭs]
  1. A very fine grained silt or clay, thought to have formed as the result of grinding by glaciers and to have been deposited by the wind. Most loess is believed to have originated during the Pleistocene Epoch from areas of land covered by glaciers and from desert surfaces.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.